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Hello! Happy Friday! It's the last one before Christmas! We went and saw the Christmas ships pass through the locks earlier this week, and it was a blast. The weather was great and the company was delightful. The best part was watching Charlie wave to Santa. Dann and I are headed to Denver tonight and I'm so excited to be there with our family and friends for the holiday. Here are a few of my favorite things from The Internet lately - just for you. Enjoy! 

Oh, Martha.

I love a good underdog story.

This made me so happy.

Stephen Colbert is the coolest. (Did you spot George Saunders??)

I can't wait for this, but it also makes me sad.

Chocolate Black-Bottom Pie + Growing Someone Else's Bones

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior" - Luke 1:46/47

There’s something about the season of Advent that makes me feel like a kid again. I think I’ve always felt a sense of wonder at the anticipation and mystery of what Christmas will bring, even if it was strongly tied to Santa and presents when I was young. For a number of years, it was related to the overwhelming excitement I felt at getting to spend Christmas at Crooked Creek Ranch with so many of my favorite people.

This year feels different.

In some ways, the last few months have been really hard. For a while I felt cloudy-headed and a little bit lost and afraid that I would never feel like myself again (thanks, pregnancy hormones!). I worried anew that life would never be as good as it was during our last few years in Denver.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve started to recognize the work that God is doing in my heart and mind and soul and, even though it’s hard, it is so good.      

When we saw our little baby boy’s body moving around in my belly for the first time on the 20 week ultrasound, it was as surreal as I imagined it would be. There were two femurs and two humeri and ten fingers and all four chambers of another human being’s tiny beating heart. There was a little button nose that sort of makes him look like Charlie Brown from the side.

It was a holy and sacred moment, and the fact that Advent started just over a week later made it especially significant for me. Even though the temptation to try and be the perfect mom is so very real already, I’ve been learning that, at the end of all things, my deepest desire is that my soul would magnify the Lord. I feel a special kinship with Mary and Elizabeth when I imagine the two of them, pregnant, feeling the bones of their babies moving around inside of them, rejoicing over God’s mercy for those who fear Him.      

So when Dann forwarded me a work email last week asking for volunteers to bring dinner to a co-worker who just had a baby, I jumped at the chance to care for the new little family in one of my favorite ways. The fact that they specifically said they like Italian food and pie made it clear what we were supposed to do.

Dann whipped up a batch of his famous spaghetti and meatballs and I put together a Martha Stewart Chocolate Black-Bottom Pie, and we drove up to the house one night after he got done working. 

Since we don’t really know the best way to get everywhere yet, we ended up taking an accidental tour of the homes around Green Lake. So many of them were decorated with Christmas lights, though, and it reminded me why we were doing what we were doing. 

I’m looking forward to feeling the sense of wonder at the anticipation and mystery of what meeting the little buddy inside me will bring, even after this Advent season is over.   

Seattle Bucket List = BUCKETED

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Dann started bugging me about getting a new passport so we could go to Vancouver while we were still technically living in Denver. He got to travel there last year on tour with Loud Harp and Josh Garrels, and he wanted me to get to see what a beautiful place it is. We spent this past weekend in Vancouver and Victoria and had the best time.

Traveling with Dann is one of my favorite things. He's really good at staying calm and problem solving and using something he called "the Fibonacci trick" to do miles to kilometers calculations in his head while driving. This trip made me even more excited to see him become a dad. He's going to be so good at it.

We visited Stanley Park, ate our first real Canadian poutine, rode the ferry (twice!), stayed at the Fairmont Empress, toured Craigdarroch Castle, and didn't have access to data on our mobile devices for most of the weekend, so we talked to each other and laughed a LOT.

I'm killing this Seattle Bucket List so far. Who's coming to my Macklemore dance party at the Space Needle??

*Also! Today marks six months since I arrived in Seattle, so I figured it was about time I start telling you about some of my favorite spots here. It's a short list right now, but I'm confident it will grow over time.

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Hey there! Happy Friday to ya. We survived our first wind storm last night - it was kind of uneventful where we live, but it was definitely noisy. We're headed to Vancouver this weekend, since I finally got a new passport, and I'm so excited to stay in a hotel. And in a week, we're headed home for Christmas! Too much fun. Anyway, here are some of my favorite things from The Internet lately - just for you. Enjoy!  

This is a good one.

"He's telling us that 'kids will be kids' and that sometimes kids are vulnerable, so adults need to be adults and teach the kids who are being assholes to be nice." Preach, Jamie.

Good on this police department, even if the video was created by a viral video marketing agency. 

T-Doug, at it again.

I'm hoping this will play on the dance floor at at least one wedding I attend in 2015.